SACRAMENTO, CA – Advocates for children and families in California today applauded the overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of H.R. 2 that extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
CHIP has a long history of bipartisan support, providing coverage for children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have access to comprehensive, affordable health care.
Together, CHIP and Medicaid have cut the rate of uninsured children in California by half over the last decade. Yesterday’s CHIP funding extension will provide stability of coverage for more than a million California children who receive coverage through Medi-Cal.
As a result of this bill’s final passage, California will receive $450 – $550 million per year in additional federal CHIP funding, dollars that were not assumed by the Governor in his January budget proposal.
“California lawmakers can make a significant difference in the health and well-being of millions of California children by making smart investments with these new federal dollars,” said Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund-California. More than half, over 5 million, of all California children are enrolled in Medi-Cal, and this is a tremendous opportunity for Governor Brown and the Legislature to prioritize the health of our children by making sure this money does what it was intended to do – improve children’s ability to access and receive quality health care.”
“CHIP is literally a life changer for more than 1 million children and pregnant women in California,” said Anna Hasselblad with California Coverage & Health Initiatives. “We are thankful for this two year extension, although we wish it was in line with the authorization of CHIP until 2019, and look forward to working with national lawmakers to continue their support in 2017 when these CHIP funds will expire. Together, we must ensure no child loses ground.”